Schützenfest (Adelaide)

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The Schützenfest is a German cultural festival held annually in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Translated from German, it means 'Shooting Festival', though Adelaide's youth attend the event to drink beer.

South Australia experienced from its inception in 1836, a large migration of Germans, predominantly of Lutheran religion. They mostly migrated after 1838. In 1853, the Shooting Society was established and in 1861, the Shooting Party was established. In 1865 the German Club closed. With its closure, a picnic was organised in St Peters, Adelaide. The main activity of the picnic was shooting. Some 5000 Adelaideans attended the picnic.

Prior to the outbreak of World War I, numerous Schützenfests were held around Adelaide areas by the German Association, such as in Walkerville, Lobethal and Barossa Valley.

The festival was reinstated after World War II. It was held for many years in Hahndorf but is now held in the western Parklands. It is still a highly popular festival with the attendance being around 20,000 and festivities involve German food, beverages, dances and music. A shooting competition also occurs.

This event generally happens in the height of the Australian summer, and often results in people needing treatment for heatstroke, due to excessive sun exposure and alcohol consumption.

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